Google Awakens the Force With Star Wars Themes for Apps, Includes Gmail and Maps

Because there was not already an over saturation of Star Wars crap for you to buy in stores, Google has launched Star Wars themes for your apps, just in case you needed more Force in your life. If you have a Google account, and use it for Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google services, you can experience what the Light or Dark side have to offer their users.

To start, you will need to choose a side – Light or Dark. Once a side is chosen, you will begin to see Star Wars themes throughout many of Google’s applications, whether it is on an Android device or desktop computer. For example, I chose the Dark side, opened my Gmail, and I was greeted with a darkly colored Empire theme. In addition, if you open Google Maps, find your home, you should see a Death Star.  (more…)

Chrome Dev Gets Colored Toolbars Without Merging Tabs!

Through Chrome 39 and Lollipop, Google introduced a little customization option for websites like ours who want to give visitors a semi-custom experience when they stop by. The new option allowed for us to offer a colored toolbar to Lollipop deivces, which we proudly turned on as Droid Life pink. The pink color has been viewable on the site since last November, but many of you probably never noticed it.  (more…)

Google: Chrome OS Isn’t Being Phased Out, $85 Chromebit Launching in Couple Weeks

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google would soon fold Chrome OS into Android and unveil a single operating system to rule them all within the next two years. Google, since the report first stole headlines, has come out to deny such claims. Well, they have at least said that they have “no plan to phase out Chrome OS.”

In a blog post penned today to the Chrome Blog, SVP of Android, Chrome OS, and Chromecast, Hiroshi Lockheimer, states that they are certainly working to bring together the best of both operating systems, but that’s about as far as he would go. He also didn’t exact deny much, other than the quote above about not phasing Chrome OS out.  (more…)

Report: Google Will Fold Chrome OS Into Android, Make Single Operating System by 2017

According to a report out of the Wall Street Journal, Google is taking Chrome OS and folding it into Android to create one operating system to rule them all. For at least the past two years, according to WSJ sources, engineers have been working to combine the two, but have recently made significant progress. In fact, the progress is far enough along that Google is hoping to unveil this new single operating system in 2017, but may show it off as early as 2016.  (more…)

Chrome Beta 47 Adds Splash Screens, Auto Dismissing Notifications

Chrome Beta 47 arrived last night for all with a changelog posted to the Chromium blog not far behind it. The update introduces splash screens, better desktop notification management support, and a bunch of security fixes.

Splash screens are a new feature that can be added by web developers, so that if a shortcut to a web page has been added to a home screen, tapping on it will load a quick colorful animation, with icon, while the web page is loading in the background. It’s a nifty feature that betters the overall polish of a shortcut, but in reality, it’s giving you something fun to look at while things load in the background.  (more…)

Chrome 45 Will Finally Address the Browser’s Notorious Battery Draining Issues

Chrome is the most popular desktop browser, at least here in the US. But while it’s popular and powerful and fast (mostly) and has apps and extensions and syncs between devices and all that, it’s not exactly efficient or good when it comes to your battery life. I’m talking about on laptops, of course, because desktops don’t have batteries. Reports (and complaints) about how good Chrome is at sucking your battery dry before you want it to have not gone unnoticed by Google, thankfully.

Today, the company announced Chrome 45, which focuses on making your favorite browser “use less memory and power.”  (more…)

Koush’s New Vysor Chrome App Gives You Device Control Via Computer (Updated)

Koush, a man of yachts, re-emerged on the dev scene this week with the release of a new Chrome app called Vysor (in beta still) that lets you control Android devices via computer. But not only does it let you mirror and control your Android devices, you can also share your Android device’s connection session with anyone else in the world through an easily shareable link.  (more…)

Chrome Beta for Android Updates to V45 With Custom Tabs, Updated Media Controls and Bookmarks

Google is pushing an update to Chrome Beta (v45.0.2454.21) this afternoon that introduces a couple of tweaks, along with a feature called “Chrome Custom Tabs.” Chrome Custom Tabs are better explained by Google here, but basically they allow customization in Chrome tabs by developers (toolbar color, enter/exit animations, custom actions to overflow menu). We’re still waiting for the update to arrive, so once we have it, we’ll see if we can’t show you a better visual representation of Custom Tabs.

The new build updates media playback controls and the bookmarks interface, and also fixes bugs.  (more…)